Paid advertising is an important way to introduce potential customers to both our QuickBooks products and our brand. Ads must be carefully designed to capture attention quickly and convey important messages clearly, without sacrificing brand equity.

Performance media

Writing for performance media

Learn about principles
Learn about attributes


There are several kinds of performance elements designed to encourage engagement. Below, you’ll find rationale and examples of effective performance assets.

Best practice is to choose the top-performing creatives currently live and in market, and overlay the promo message. This helps to expedite the creative production process.

Avoid fear-based or overly urgent language. This includes phrases like:

  • Hurry! Don’t wait!
  • Time is running out!
  • This is your last chance!

You can express enthusiasm with exclamation points—just make sure they sound like a natural reaction to the situation. They work best with single words and short phrases.

Advertising examples for content in promos.

Functional notes

Level of formality

There’s a familiar relationship between the reader and writer. Our performance media ads should sound casual and conversational, but not as casual as a text.

The same guidelines apply to writing for performance media and social. Check out the Social page for additional functional notes.

Visual design guidelines

In this highly saturated environment, visuals should be attention-grabbing, clear, and action-oriented. The overall message can be more complex and spread across multiple steps (e.g. carousel, story, animation, video), but a singular layout should be easy to comprehend quickly and be actionable. 


We don’t use all colors from our standard QuickBooks color palette. Finding the right usage of color, based on purpose, is key.

One of our brand goals is a focus on inclusivity and accessibility in design when we’re designing with color for digital experiences.

See accessibility guidelines
See color guidelines

Limited usage colors

These colors have specific usage, which helps us maintain consistency across different assets.

Limited usage color palette for performance media

Extended palette

These colors are created to enhance the experience in social environments, enable more robust storytelling, and support cultural events.

Usage of these colors should be thoughtful, minimal, and always in conjunction with our primary color palette. Accent colors should never dominate.

Extended color palette for performance media

Color proportion

Use color in a purposeful way, to help create clarity and visual hierarchy.

A neutral color set is mostly used for backgrounds. A vibrant color set is used to add visual interest to a story, or to add clarity to our data.

Color proportion for performance media


There are many performance formats. Below, you'll find the most commonly used examples.

Most commonly used on Instagram in-feed, Facebook, LinkedIn, and carousel posts on Twitter. Must be used for any carousel posts that will be supported with paid media. 


Since 1:1 can be leveraged across most platforms, this is the ideal aspect ratio if scope is limited and you need to leverage the same asset across multiple placements.

1:1 social format example for performance media


There are 3 main sizes for buttons, each with the appropriate text padding and weight. Buttons also come in 3 different colors, so they can fit various backgrounds. 

  • The corner radius and padding must be preserved when scaling to avoid a distorted button shape.
  • Green buttons are the most important in the button hierarchy, and are always preferred.
  • Button copy should always be in sentence case.
Get button assets
Button options for performance media


We’ve developed performance media templates (available to download at the bottom of this page). The use of templates is not mandatory. They are meant to help expedite creative executions.

These layouts are standardized but still flexible to address specific use cases: 

  • Copy, images, and background color are flexible.
  • Layouts are fixed.
  • Elements can be removed if not needed.

Brand campaigns

Our brand campaigns are thoughtfully themed and designed to educate and entertain. Here’s a sample of some of our most recent work.

Business Differently

Plant strong financial roots with 5.00% APY and QuickBooks Money.

Business Differently

Score big with your finances through QuickBooks Money.

What not to do

Campaign assets have strict usage guidelines that must be respected.

Don’t use assets beyond their expiration dates.

Don’t use assets outside of their approved geographic location.

Don’t use assets for non-approved mediums or channels.

Available assets

The image of performance media templates

Layout templates for performance

Download assets

FY22 brand campaign style guide. new business? no problem.

New business? No problem.

Download Campaign Style Guide

Available assets

FY22 brand campaign style guide. new business? no problem.

Performance media templates and toolkit

Download performance media templates

Have work that’s ready for review?

Come to design and content office hours to make sure it’s brand-approved. Agencies and external partners welcome.